On account of rapid
increase in the numbers of children being affected by childhood obesity, it has
become important to determine food and beverage consumption trends among
children. Sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs), carbonated drinks and other
processed foods play a major role in inducing long-term habits of beverage
consumption, leading to childhood obesity in most cases. These drinks are
loaded with sugar and have low satiety values, often proving to be addictive.
Many short-term studies
put forth experimental evidence that indicates that a greater consumption of
SSBs is linked to increase in body weight and obesity. Although extensive
research is still required, the current studies are enough to discourage consumption
of aerated and fizzy drinks to promote healthy lifestyle.
The WHO (World Health
Organization) estimates over a billion babies to be overweight, and the numbers
are escalating day by day. Obesity is linked to many potentially fatal diseases
like diabetes, cardiovascular ailments, breast and colon cancer, hypertension
and depression and leading to a decrease in social and psychological quality of
The National health and
Nutritional examination survey collected data from individuals aged between 1
and 5 to assess beverage consumption and the associated physiological changes.
Around 30% of the children were found to be consuming soft drinks and some
35-40% went for fruit juices. Also, there was a significant increase in the
number of children suffering from diet related health issues. Recent studies in
children and adolescents reveal a huge association between the consumption of
sodas and obesity.
unsweetened, natural fruit juices is known to provide a good amount of
phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and potassium, essential for growing kids. It
is important that caretakers and parents discourage consumption of artificially
sweetened drinks and encourage consumption of more nutritious drinks like low
fat and fat-free milk, among children.